Next, we are going to present you the ten things you did not know about the highest peak in the Iberian Peninsula and the second highest in Spain after the great Teide. It is located in the Sierra Nevada national park in Granada, and before you go to visit this wonder of nature we are going to present ten things that will leave you amazed about this peak. Start climbing this peak with us discovering the ten most important curiosities of Pico Mulhacén.
1. DID YOU KNOW THAT THE NAME "MULHACÉN" COMES FROM A SULTAN WHO REIGNED GRANADA?
King Muley Do succeeded his father Muhammad XI in the year 1465 and signed peace with the Christians that his father had begun to negotiate. However, after the peace treaty he began to harass them and confronted them with his army. His advanced age prevented him from continuing the fight and he left the throne to his brother Al-Zagal. When Muley Hacen passed away, it is assumed that he was buried on the highest peak in the Sierra Nevada named after Mulhacen.
On the other hand, it is curious how its inhabitants also know it as "El Cerro" due to the softness of its relief in the southern area, which makes its ascent very easy.
2. ASCEND MULHACÉN PEAK
The smoothness of its relief makes the ascent very easy and it hardly has any technical difficulty. However, we do have to take into account that an unevenness of 4.000 meters accumulated in two days can be a very hard journey if you do not have the required physical condition.
We also do not recommend that you climb it in summer due to the suffocating heat, especially in the first stage, which is an added problem to the complications that can arise when climbing a peak like this.
Today we see families with children and elderly people who have reached the top. After all, by taking the necessary precautions, calibrating your forces well and not underestimating dangers, it will be enough to spend an incredible day enjoying the nature that this mountain offers.
To ascend you have two options: do it from the positions of the Veleta or from the southern part of the Alpujarra.
3. SIMÓN DE ROJAS CLEMENTE: THE FIRST TO CLIMB MULHACÉN
Although Mulhacén would surely be reached by locals who would live on its slopes, the first climb to Mulhacén dates back to 1804 and its protagonist was Simón de Rojas Clemente a Spanish botanist.
4. MULHACEN CLIMATE
When talking about high mountains and peaks, a feeling of cold comes to all of us, but is it always cold in the mountains? In winter, the Mulhacén weather can be very variable and temperatures can reach minus 20 degrees. However, the climate is stable with mild temperatures. Although, do not trust yourself and pay attention to the weather conditions!
5. CAPILEIRA: THE SECOND HIGHEST VILLAGE IN SPAIN
If you are going to take a trip to Mulhacén, we recommend you stop in the town of Capileira and get lost in its alleys and appreciate the wonderful flat roofs, called terraos that fit perfectly with the rural mountain landscape. In addition, you can visit the ethnological museum of Pedro Antonio de Alarcón where you can observe his work as a writer and traveler who investigated everything about these lands.
There are specific routes that can be done on foot through this town, such as the circular route of the Poqueira ditch through the upper part of the ravine and which leaves the town of Capileira. If you like animals, you also have the option of riding a horse on this type of route.
Finally, comment that Mulhacén has a small Buddhist Center called O Sel Ling that you can visit from three in the afternoon to six and where you can enjoy the benefits of meditation in full nature for 35 euros or 42 euros with course.
6. WHICH ROUTES TO CHOOSE
The four best routes you can choose are as follows:
It is the most common along with that of Hoya del Portillo. They are expected from 3 hours and a half to 4 hours with a difference in level of 1.150 meters and about 8.5 kilometers In winter the weather conditions are harsh, but if we go protected we can enjoy the snowy Mulhacén.
- HOYA DEL PORTILLOS
With little amount of snow it is the perfect path. It lasts for more than 2 hours, a cumulative drop of 550 meters and about 8 kilometers.
It is not usually the one chosen by people because it is long and hard both in the ascent and in the descent. In total, about 4 hours are calculated with a drop of 1,250 meters and about 9.5 kilometers.
- HOYA DE LA MORA
This is the one you should choose in summer, even though it is quite long, you can do it between breaks since it lasts between 6 and 8 hours. It has a descent of 1500 accumulated meters and 18 kilometers.
7. WHAT TO BRING TO EXPLORE EL MULHACÉN?
If we do the Poqueira route, it will not be necessary to carry many things in the backpack since it passes through a shelter that has beds, food, hot showers and even Wi-Fi. You can contact them and book your accommodation. In any case, it will always be interesting to carry a mini technical and safety team in your backpack. In addition, mountain clothing will be essential both in summer and winter.
8. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE FRENCH PASS IS?
El Paso de los Franceses is a path parallel to the Mulhacén river very close to the top whose name since 1989 honors six French mountaineers who lost their lives in this area due to a huge avalanche of the one that only survived a seventh mountaineer who saw how all her companions were devastated by the avalanche.
The tragedy is known as one of the biggest accidents in the Sierra Nevada. In the days that followed, a whole team traveled to recover the bodies lost in the snow.
9. WHERE TO STOP TO EAT NEAR THE MULHACEN?
We are going to recommend two places where you can enjoy a good meal on those days of long trails. First of all, the Botanic Bar near Poqueira, which is famous for its originality as it combines signature cuisine with Asian cuisine. It has a terrace that will be unforgettable for its views and live music. Secondly, the Corral del Castaño with its dishes from Alpujarra that will leave you speechless. Traditional Andalusian food, but with a creative and quality touch.
10. THE VILLAGES SURROUNDING THE MULHACÉN
Andalusia is a community full of wonderful towns that transport us to the Arab world and the beauty of its architecture. Around Mulhacén there are many of these that are worth visiting, such as Lanjarón which is popular for its waters or Pampaneira considered one of the most beautiful in Spain. Other of these places with Órgiva or Trévelez where you can enjoy its incredible gastronomy.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
- WHAT IS THE HEIGHT OF THE THREE HIGHEST PEAKS ON THE PENINSULA?
The height of the highest peaks of the peninsula are Mulhacén of 3.478 meters, the Teide of 3718 meters and the Aneto of 3404 meters.
- WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE NORTH FACE AND THE SOUTH FACE OF THE MULHACEN?
The north face is much steeper than the south face and offers much larger climbs for snow and ice climbers in winter
- WHEN DID THE FIRST ASCENT TAKE PLACE IN WINTER?
The first ascent in winter took place in 1901 and was carried out by the explorers Félix Bassazza, Vicente Montero and Matías Vázquez.
- WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO CLIMB THE NORTH FACE OF MULHACEN?
What you cannot miss in your hiking backpack are an ice ax, some crampons, nails, carabiners, even an ice hammer.
- IS IT POSSIBLE TO ACCESS THE TOP OF MULHACEN BY VEHICLE?
No, you will not be able to climb to the top of MUlhacén by car, motorbike or bicycle. The only way to go up is on foot.
- IS IT NECESSARY TO HIRE A GUIDE?
It is not necessary, but it is highly recommended to hire a guide, at least if it is the first time you ascend Mulhacén, as this will allow you to be more secure.
- IS EL MULHACÉN VERY MASSIVE?
Over the years there are more and more mountaineers or people who have wanted to do the different routes. If we go in summer and on the weekend, it will surely be a bit crowded. However, during the week or in winter we will not have queue problems and it will be quite lonely.
- IS PHYSICAL PREPARATION REQUIRED TO CLIMB THE MULHACEN?
It is not necessary to be in the best physical shape or prepare for a while for the climb. Being in good health and being cautious with the risks posed by the mountain will be enough.
- WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE SIERRA NEVADA STATION?
The Sierra Nevada station is the southernmost in Europe and the highest in Spain.
- HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GO UP THE MULHACÉN?
It takes around 3 and a half hours to go up to Mulhacén taking into account its cumulative drop of 1.150 meters and about 8.5 kilometers, although everything will depend on the route we follow.